Top How Tos

» Graft My Own Plants

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Graft My Own Plants
» Sponsors

Grafting is a method of plant propagation, which is done by joining the shoot from one plant, called a scion, to the stem of another, called the rootstock. If no shoots are allowed to sprout on the rootstock, that is below the graft, the buds on the scion will grow to resemble the plant they were taken from.


Grafting is often done to propagate woody plants or trees that have few seeds or do not readily grow from seed, or to replace damaged branching areas on a plant.

Grafting between different species such as an ever bearer rose as the scion and a very weather hardy rootstock will produce a healthy and probably superior plant. While it is possible to graft between species such as pear and apple, they will probably only survive a few years, and things such as apple to oak won’t survive, so keeping species like to like is really the only smart way to graft a plant.

You will need a very sharp grafting knife, one that will hold an edge which is razor sharp and gives a superior clean cut. This will assure the damage to the plant cells is minimal and that rapid plant healing takes place. Use your grafting knife ONLY for grafting and not for any other purpose to assure that it has no foreign materials on it, and that it remains sharp.

There are four main types of grafts, and how you graft usually will depend on whether the bark is “slipping”.

This is a healthy normal condition and to explain it briefly, it means that the bark slips off easily because it is lubricated by sap, usually in spring and summer, whereas the bark is tight during fall and winter because many times the plant or tree is dormant.

In any graft, the rootstock and the scion must be held very tigthly together while they unite, which will take from two weeks to a month, however after two weeks the bindings that you have placed on them may be loosened.

The four main grafting techniques are, whip and tongue, cleft grafting, shield or tbudding, and chip budding. The example to your left is whip and tongue grafting.

These grafting techniques are viewable by paying a visit to North Carolina Coop or to Wikipedias, Grafting Article, which has some additional grafting information for you.

The best time for you to graft your plants is usually going to be between january and April, before spring hits and growth begins.

Within a month after grafting you can expect that you will see new growth from both scion and rootstock and that they will have joined, sending out suckers. Remove any suckers down to the based of the plant or tree, however leave the scions growth intact until it is at least 8 inches long, and then choose the strongest and best to form the main section of your new tree or plant.

Then pinch the tips of the other shoots, leaving just five or sic leaves to aid the union of the plant.
In early May, cut away the binding, using your grafting knife, but take care not to injure the bark on the new tree.

To care for a grafted plant well you will want to make sure that it is watered at least every seven days for the entire first year of its growth.


There are no comments just yet

Leave a Comment

Add your picture!
Join Gravatar and upload your avatar. C'mon, it's free!